Chapter 10: Master

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A few days after Li Hao’s first time doing breathing exercises, he prostrated before Fang Mu and Xiao Fan three times to be their student.

Xiao Fan felt that a ceremony like that wasn’t necessary, but Fang Mu insisted.
Fang Mu smiled so widely after Li Hao officially became his disciple.

“Finally, I have a successor…” That day, Fang Mu looked very happy.
It might’ve been tens or even hundreds of years since he last felt that way.  

Fang Mu and Xiao Fan still couldn’t teach their knowledge before Li Hao reached Forging Qi level one, so they both took turns explaining things about the world of cultivation and ordinary people in more depth. 

The one that Xiao Fan taught Li Hao was the concept of money.
In the world of humans, the currency were coins and paper money, while in the world of cultivators, spirit stones are more recognized as a good currency in general. 

“Many people kill each other because of this? Why?” Li Hao looked at the gold coin and a blue crystal the size of a pebble.
He then tried to bite the gold coin.
“It’s not edible.” 

Xiao Fan chuckled.
“This really can’t be eaten, but with it, you can buy lots of food.” 

“Oh, then it makes sense.” Li Hao nodded while observing the spirit stones and coins more thoroughly. 

Among Xiao Fan’s explanations, Li Hao was most interested in the Eastern Star Continent, especially when Xiao Fan explained it like this, “Peach Blossom Mountain is like a tree, and the Eastern Star Continent is the mountain.” 

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Indeed, after hearing Xiao Fan’s story and Fang Mu’s tales about their life outside Peach Blossom Mountain, Li Hao became full of curiosity. 

According to Xiao Fan’s explanation, Eastern Star Continent is divided into three large regions, which are controlled by three different governments, namely Ironwood Empire, Black Moon Empire, and Heaven Star Empire. 

“The Heaven Mountain Sect that Fang Mu lived in is in Heaven Star Empire while I lived in Five Poison Valley, the one in the Black Moon Empire.” 

Xiao Fan said the strongest sect of the righteous sect built their main sect in Heaven Star Empire, while the strongest sect of the evil sect was in the Black Moon Empire.

Among these three Empires, Ironwood Empire was known to be the weakest and smallest in strength while Heaven Star Empire had the strongest and oldest foundation.
There was even a time when the Eastern Star Continent was completely ruled by Heaven Star Empire.

“These three Empires do have cultivators.
They guard their territory with the help of a cultivator, but if compared to a ten- or nine-star sect, they could be counted as nothing.” 

“Nine-star sect? Ten stars? What does it mean?” 

Xiao Fan then explained that the sects in The Eastern Star Continent was divided into ten levels, with one star as the weakest and ten stars as the strongest.
One- to three-star sects were called a small sect, while four- to six-stars were middle sects.
Sects with seven stars and above were known as big sects. 

“Heaven Mountain Sect and Five Poison Valley are ten-star sects.
At the moment, there are only twelve groups that belong to the ten-star sect,” Xiao Fan said in a slightly proud tone. 

Xiao Fan wanted to brag more about Five Poison Valley, but something stopped him. 

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“Grrooaaarr!” 

Xiao Fan and Li Hao were shocked.
The sun was directly overhead—the voice that Li Hao called as the sound of a rooster didn’t sound at the usual hour.

“What happened? Why is it roaring at this time?” Xiao Fan narrowed his eyes, trying to find the source of the sound. 

The roaring sound came not just once, but every few minutes. 

Li Hao, who was usually calm, turned pale because he had never experienced this kind of situation before. 

Fang Mu ran towards Xiao Fan and Li Hao after that roar sounded for the umpteenth time.
The three of them were both confused and didn’t know what to do. 

“Fang Mu, what should we do?”

“If you ask me, then who should I ask?”

When Xiao Fan and Fang Mu started arguing, the sky above their heads started to become dark.
For no apparent reason, black clouds began to gather and covered the sun, shrouding Peach Blossom Mountain in darkness. 

At almost the same time after the sky became completely dark, rain began to fall and quickly turned into a downpour, the roars going louder as it did. 

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“Is this the sky’s wrath?” Li Hao turned his head up.
Phenomena like this really surprised him. 

“Don’t daydream; let’s take shelter.
It’s raining so heavily that it will take time to subside.” Xiao Fan invited Li Hao and Fang Mu to go back home.
The three then took shelter at Li Hao’s house.

***

It rained heavily for three days without stopping, and puddles began to form in the entire Peach Blossom Mountain. 

The roaring sound also kept on sounding every once in a while, making Xiao Fan and Fang Mu anxious.

On the other hand, Li Hao felt bored and chose to practice breathing while waiting for the rain to stop.
What’s more, he wasn’t too far from level one Forging Qi.

“Is there something to eat?” Xiao Fan stroked his stomach, which had been empty for a few days. 

“Shhh! Hao’er is in an important part to enter Forging Qi.
Don’t bother him,” Fang Mu whispered. 

Not long after, Li Hao’s body gave off a golden light for two seconds before a black, viscous liquid poured out of the pores of his body. 

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Li Hao opened his eyes, feeling the sticky and foul-smelling liquid covering his whole body.
“Teacher Fang, Teacher Xiao, what’s this?”

“That’s a sign that you have successfully entered Forging Qi.
Every time you level up, more of that liquid comes out, your body and you gets stronger, and your age becomes longer,” Fang Mu replied. 

Li Hao got up from his seat.
He intended to clean himself by taking a bath in the rain. 

“I’ll be looking for food too.
My stomach is hungry…” 

Just a few steps after Li Hao left the house, lightning started to strike and surprised Li Hao.
For the last three days, even though it’s been raining so heavily, there was not a flash of lightning, but now there suddenly was. 

It didn’t stop there.
Thunder and lightning continued to strike as if the world will end.
Li Hao ran back into the house out of fear after seeing so many lightning strikes on Peach Blossom Mountain. 

At the same time, a long roar was heard.
“Grrooaarrr!” 

Peach Blossom Mountain shook violently along with that long roar.
Fang Mu and Xiao Fan became alert while Li Hao looked for a place to hide. 

“Look! What’s that?!” Xiao Fan pointed to the sky with eyes wide open.

 

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